New Delhi: Rahul, naam to suna hi hoga.
On that note, Raj bhi suna hoga.
Shah Rukh Khan, one-third of Bollywood's ruling trinity, turns 50 today and in a career spanning over two decades, the actor has showcased 50 shades of romance as Rahul and Raj (his most common onscreen names). But he has also won hearts as hockey coach Kabir Khan, NRI Mohan Bhargava, and the antihero of Darr, Anjaam and Baazigar.(Also Read: Shah Rukh Khan Turns 50, Twitter Toasts Him With Hashtags)
On SRK's 50th birthday, we pick our favourite 10 of his performances:
Film: Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa
Raj and Rahul almost always get the girl but even though Sunil lost her to his romantic rival, he won the audience and critics over. Sunil, a good-natured slacker, is hopelessly in love with Anna, who has eyes only for Chris (Deepak Tijori). To make matters worse, his father thinks he's a complete loser. How Sunil handles rejection on two fronts forms the plot of this, one of SRK's earliest hits.
Film: Chak De! India
Character: Kabir Khan
Shah Rukh was spectacular as the coach of the Indian women's hockey team, an erroneously disgraced star player of the men's hockey team who wins back the country's regard and respect. And "bloody hell," we loved him. His sattar (70) minute dialogue was one of the highlights of the film, which has been used and reused by fans ever since.
Character: Mohan Bhargava
Swades was SRK's first detour from the mainstream Bollywood formula of romance and revenge into realism. He plays Mohan Bhargava, a NASA project manager who returns to India in search of his governess Kaveri Amma. He finds not just her in a remote village, but also purpose and love.
Film: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Character: Raj Malhotra
DDLJ is still Bollywood's definitive love story, placing SRK in pole position among the roster of cinematic lover boys. His NRI romance with Kajol as Simran meandered from the streets of Switzerland to the mustard fields of Punjab, packed with dialogues that have passed into the lexicon of daily life in India and desi sanskaars that sweetened made the resolution - as a train carries Raj away from Simran, her stern father allows her to make a dash down the platform to a happy ending.
Film: Dil Se...
Character: Amar Kant Varma
In Dil Se, SRK delivered one of his most controlled performances as a man desperately in love, betrayed by his lover and caught on the cusp between love and nationalism.
Film: Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman
Character: Raj Mathur
A budding engineer, Raj Mathur is caught in the conspiring and conniving world of the rich and the glamorous. Then just four films old, SRK did a fine job of portraying innocence and disenchantment by turns.
Film: My Name Is Khan
Character: Rizwan Khan
As the autistic Rizwan, SRK won hearts and empathy. The film chronicled the journey of Rizwan's attempt to meet POTUS in a post-9/11 America and tell him: "My name is Khan, and I'm not a terrorist".
Character: Vicky Malhotra/Ajay Sharma
Haar ke jeetne wale ko Baazigar kehte hai. This is what happens when a revenge-seeking Ajay self-destructs in an attempt to avenge his father, who was duped by his former colleague. He made the 'antihero' a legit leading man in Bollywood, making a difficult crowd to please sit up and take note.
Film: Karan Arjun
In this satisfyingly-cheesy story of reincarnation and revenge, SRK and Salman Khan are murdered as the brothers Karan and Arjun and reborn as Ajay and Vijay, who tangle with each other head at first before past life recollections lead them on a journey back to their mother and the village they were murdered in. There, they mete out unforgiving and brutal justice to their killers.
Character: Kishanlal /The Ghost
In this Amol Palekar-directed film, Shah Rukh plays the role of a dutiful son, consumed by work, who ignores his new bride, played by Rani Mukerji. He also plays the role of a spirit, who takes the form of Kishanlal to be with Rani.
Shah Rukh picked up the Rajasthani accent with ease. He was convincing as the moody, workaholic and often insensitive Kishanlal. He was equally convincing as the doppelganger, who only wanted to be with the woman he loved.